Tomorrow's Neocon Today

Why Clinton II wouldn't offer much change from Bush II

Polls show Hillary Clinton has now opened up a striking 33-point lead over Barack Obama in the race for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination. The latest poll shows that likely Democratic primary voters favor her in every major policy area. Clinton also raised $27 million in campaign contributions in the last quarter, adding to an already-significant lead over her Democratic rivals.

For seven years, the left has been up in arms about President Bush's aggressive foreign policy, his secrecy, his partisanship, and his expansive claims on executive power. It's odd, then, that they're prepared to nominate Hillary Clinton to carry the party into the 2008 elections.

The problem with Hillary Clinton is two-fold: First, she's likely to be as bad or worse than Bush on all of those issues, and second, she's the one Democrat the Republicans still have a chance to beat.

Start with Clinton's general election vulnerabilities. No Democrat inspires more wrath and anger on the right than Hillary Clinton. This isn't because of her policy positions—on most issues, she's really not all that far removed from President Bush. It's leftover partisan anger from the Bill Clinton years.

And while I can understand the temptation on the left to want to stick it to their political opponents by putting their worst nightmare in the White House, it's also worth noting that morale on the right is down right now. They're disappointed in their political leadership—with the scandals, the spending, and the uninspired politicking. Campaign contributions are down. Motivation is lagging. Why give them the one general election opponent most likely to get them fired up and, more importantly, writing checks again?

Hillary Clinton also starts any national election with negative approval ratings in the low-to-mid forties. That gives her very little margin for error in a general election campaign. Clinton, then, is probably the only serious candidate in the field right now who could give the Republicans another term in the White House. So why risk it?

Then there is Hillary Clinton on the issues. Cato Institute President Ed Crane recently wrote a piece for the Financial Times pointing out that when you strip away the partisan coating, Mrs. Clinton's grandiose, big-government vision is really no different than that envisioned by the neoconservatives so loathed by the left. Clinton, remember, not only voted for the Iraq war, she still hasn't conceded she was wrong to do so, and has made no promise to end it any time soon.

In fact, the L.A. Times reported last week that Clinton has refused to commit even to pulling U.S. troops from Iraq by 2013, which, if elected, would be the end of her first term. TV journalist Ted Koppel recently told NPR that Clinton has admitted the U.S. would still have troops in Iraq at the end of her second term.

The 1990s, remember, weren't exactly a decade of peace. Bill Clinton ordered more U.S. military interventions than any other post-WWII administration, and there's no reason to think any of them were over Hillary's protestations. She supported the U.S. military campaigns in Haiti, Kosovo, and Bosnia. She once boasted that as the tension in Kosovo mounted, she called her husband from her trip to Africa and, "I urged him to bomb."

Hillary Clinton voted for both the Patriot Act and its reauthorization. She voted for building a wall on the U.S.-Mexican border. She voted to loosen restrictions limiting the federal government's ability to wiretap cell phones. In the past, she has supported a robust role for the federal government in enforcing "decency" standards in television and music. She teamed up with former Sen. Rick Santorum on a bill calling for the federal government to restrict the sale of violent video games.

Leftists concerned about the entertainment industry's increasingly imperial stand on copyright might take a cue from copyright guru Lawrence Lessig, who wrote on his blog for Wired magazine: "Of all the Dems, I would have bet she was closest to the copyright extremists. So far, she's done nothing to suggest to the contrary."

What about secrecy and executive power? It's difficult to see Hillary Clinton voluntarily handing back all of those extra-constitutional executive powers claimed by President Bush. Her husband's administration, for example, copiously invoked dubious "executive privilege" claims to keep from complying with congressional subpoenas and open records requests—claims the left now (correctly, in my view) regularly criticizes the Bush administration for invoking.

Hillary Clinton herself went to court to keep meetings of her Health Care Task Force secret from the public, something conservatives were quick to point out when leftists criticize Vice President Cheney's similar efforts to keep meetings of his Energy Task Force secret.

"I'm a strong believer in executive authority," Clinton said in a 2003 speech, recently quoted in The New Republic. "I wish that, when my husband was president, people in Congress had been more willing to recognize presidential authority."

That jibes with a February 2007 New York Times article on Clinton explaining her refusal to back down from her vote for the Iraq war: "Mrs. Clinton's belief in executive power and authority is another factor weighing against an apology, advisers said... she believes that a president usually deserves the benefit of the doubt from Congress on matters of executive authority."

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Syloson of Samos||

    This time I guess three years Hoard Dean seemed to be cruising. There are some months to go in this election.

  • iowan||

    If there was ever a living, breathing example of a democan/republicrat politician, Hillary is it.

  • shecky||

    Giuliani/Dubya in a pant suit.

  • ||

    Start with Clinton's general election vulnerabilities. No Democrat inspires more wrath and anger on the right than Hillary Clinton. This isn't because of her policy positions-on most issues, she's really not all that far removed from President Bush. It's leftover partisan anger from the Bill Clinton years.

    Uh, it's because she's a woman.

  • ||

    A fine article. Not a gnats ass difference between HRC and GWB is exactly right.

    Radley seems confused as to why the Dems are lining up behind her though. I thought I made this clear two years ago. HRC owns the Democratic Party. No force in heaven or on earth can prevent her from becoming the D candidate. Rest assured, all those who do not support HRC will be made to pay.

  • ||

    Spot on, Balko, all the way, especially the part about watching the nutroots reaction to a Clinton II administration, both in terms of military intervention and in terms of suddenly justifying all the stuff they've excoriated Bush for in the past 8 years.

    I'm not crazy about HRC - I'm worried about her domestic policies, needless to say - taxes, guns, healthcare, all of it. And having lived through 8 years of rightwing nuttery about Bill, and 8 years of moonbattery about Bush (Joe, cover your ears - the moonbats are WAY nastier, crazier, more spittleflecked and less rational than the rightwing nuts were in the 90s), I'd really prefer someone who'd inspire less visceral reactions all around.

    But America can survive a Clinton II Whitehouse, as I keep trying to tell my mother, who believes that End Times are approaching if Clinton wins and who might try to take off into the mountains and go into Left Behind mode. She's 78 years old, has a lousy sense of direction, hasn't lived alone in over 40 years, doesn't see or drive that well, and my husband refuses to teach her how to shoot. And we are hundreds of miles away from any mountains and metropolitan Houston offers few really good survival hideout places. So this is something I don't need right now.

  • ||

    The few partisan Demos I know are at least smart enough to realize Hillary isn't going to do much of anything different than our current imperator.

  • ||

    DO NOT FEED THE TROLL!!!

  • iowan||

    Ecomonically Statist; Socially Conservative; Militarily Hawkish -- it's a trifecta.

  • Drawn Asunder||

    The only reason this could be true is that what is most important to the voters are the differences in minor cultural cues (Bush wears jeans and Hillary doesn't).

    It's the Bullshit that matters. See the Onion:
    http://www.theonion.com/content/video/poll_bullshit_is_most_important

  • ||

    What's disappointing about Mr. Balko's article is that he's basically just repeating the latest anti-Hillary talking point. While it's true that Hillary is not as liberal as Radley's Fox News buddies would have us believe, it's really a disservice to readers to try to tell us there is no difference between Democrats and Republicans. Where has he been during the Bush administration? Bush is probably the world's most hated man while Al Gore, the man Bush "defeated" in 2000, is winning a Nobel Peace Prize. I'd say there's quite a difference between those two.

  • ||

    Well, I would concede that Hillary's a better man than George.

  • ||

    Ecomonically Statist; Socially Conservative; Militarily Hawkish -- it's a trifecta.

    So shes like Joe Lieberman, but less so. I can't wait! (sarcasm)

  • Drawn Asunder||

    Uh, Al Gore hasn't held a political office for almost 8 years.

    That would have a lot to do with his status on the hate list.

    Give Gore 8 years in office, and see how well liked he is.

  • Dave Woycechowsky||

    What's disappointing about Mr. Balko's article is that he's basically just repeating the latest anti-Hillary talking point.

    I disagree. I think he is trying to sell Hillary Clinton to the Fox News crowd. Maybe not sell as in getting active support going for her, but at least making it less likely that they will vote and/or contribute money to stop her.

    Given the target audience, these are not anti-Hillary talking points, but stealth pro-Hillary talking points. That is not to say that Mr. Balko personally likes Hillary Clinton, but it is nice to write what you believe and get paid for doing it.

  • Jerry||

    I agree, there is not much difference between Hillary, Bush and Benito Giuliani.

  • Episiarch||

    Now wait, this can't be true. It's just a product of Radley's pox-on-all-houses attitutde, his partisan non-partisanship.

  • ||

    I really thought Sen. Obama was going to run a close race, even beat, Sen. Clinton, he being new and exciting, more charismatic and more lefty, but obviously I was totally wrong. Unless Syloson is right, and then I was right and am now wrong.

    I think Blako may be ignoring some domestic differences between the president and Clinton on things like health care (if Clinton had vetoed the recent SCHIP bill, wouldn't it be for not expanding the program to cover enough people?), Supreme Court appointments, and Social Security, where the president screwed up, but at least tried. There are obviously a lot of similarities between Pres. Bush and Sen. Clinton, but I don't think it would be a "seamless" transition.

  • Episiarch||

    The reason Democrats aren't worried about her similarities to Bush is they just don't care. Partisans are about their side winning/being in power. If Hillary is perceived as having the best chances, then they will support her. Her negative polling isn't that relevant because the Republican partisans are going to vote Republican regardless, so offering up Obama or Edwards isn't going to change their minds.

  • ||

    Episarch,

    Balko seems to suggest that Clinton will excite GOP-leaners to donate money they wouldn't donate to defeat the less objectionable Obama and Edwards, and that right-wingers who are pissed at Bush over the fighting in Iraq, over the spending, or over immigration might stay at home on election day if not given the chance to vote against Clinton.

  • pistoffnick||

    A politician by any other name...

    would still smell as rank.

  • ||

    "my mother, who believes that End Times are approaching"

    That's what she gets for listening to End-Times Preacher, Al Gore.

  • ||

    Presidents like W. Bush and now possibly Hillary make me sometimes think if a plural executive wouldn't be better than a single President.

  • ||

    should read, "would be better".

  • Episiarch||

    mitch, I understand Radley's point. But he asks, considering these factors, why the Democrats would run Hillary. I am trying to answer that question by saying they just aren't concerned with the phantasmagoric swing voters and are backing the strong horse.

  • ||

    "If Hillary is perceived as having the best chances (of winning), then they will support her."

    Didn't nominating John Kerry disprove that stratedy?

  • ||

    stratedy = strategy

  • ||

    Mitch: I think that's basically correct. I think some disgusted Republicans who might stay home for Obama or Edwards will get out and vote against Clinton.

    I really don't like being around my mom (whom I love dearly and upon whom, at 43, I still depend a lot) when WJC, HRC or the Gorebot's names are mentioned. She's not a fanatic but on those three people she meets Churchill's definition about not changing her mind or being able to change the subject. She's cool with The Gays, she still believes abortion is wrong but no longer thinks it should be a political litmus test, she acknowledges that Democrats can actually be Christians - but on the unholy trinity she will not be moved.

  • The $50 is the new $20||

    She'd like to follow in Bush's imperial footsteps.

    Sadly, I believe that our nation's preposterously unsustainable economic position is destined to be the defining issue for our next president (and beyond). Sadly, if it's Clinton in office, I bet she'll be about as capable curbing spending and debt as Bush was at answering the challenges posed by terrorism.

  • ||

    "If Hillary is perceived as having the best chances (of winning), then they will support her."

    Didn't nominating John Kerry disprove that stratedy?


    He was the best out of a very weak field of candidates. Hillary is the strongest out of a much stronger field (so far).

  • Episiarch||

    Didn't nominating John Kerry disprove that stratedy?

    Not if Kerry was the best chance, yet still not enough to win. Also, what they perceive is the best chance, and what actually is, may be two different things.

  • thoreau||

    Any President who inspires Republicans to distrust the government will have at least one point in her favor.

  • ||

    Thoreau-

    They will simply distrust governments run by Democrats. Ask any liberal, "Do you really want the same people who run FEMA to run your health care run?"

    The stock response is, "But FEMA and everything else will work great as long as we elect Democrats!"

    *smacks head*

  • pistoffnick||

    Cesar wrote:Presidents like W. Bush and now possibly Hillary make me sometimes think if a plural executive wouldn't be better than a single President.

    Noooooooooooo! It should at least encourage you to think about having no president at all.

  • ||

    Noooooooooooo! It should at least encourage you to think about having no president at all.

    Thats the idea. Have a trifecta or consulate or something made up of three people rather than a single Presidency. One elected by the people, one by the House, one by the Senate. That would slow government to a grinding halt and make it a lot harder to keep the executive branch secretive.

  • Episiarch||

    Have a trifecta or consulate or something

    The proper term is triumvirate. Might work, might not. Didn't for the Romans.

  • ||

    Thats the idea. Have a trifecta or consulate or something made up of three people rather than a single Presidency. One elected by the people, one by the House, one by the Senate. That would slow government to a grinding halt and make it a lot harder to keep the executive branch secretive.

    The Romans tried something not too far afield from that (multiple emperors) in the 4th Century, and all it led to was unending civil war.

    I'm down with "slow government," but our government is already designed to do that, and look how poorly it's working. The last thing we need is two more presidential asshats with their fingers on The Button.

  • ||

    The Romans tried something not too far afield from that (multiple emperors) in the 4th Century, and all it led to was unending civil war.

    Yeah I was aware of that and that would be a problem. I'm just sick to death of the President thinking hes special and can do anything because "I'm the Commander in Chief".

  • Marcus Aemilius Lepidus||

    Episiarch. Thanks, I was just about to say to Cesar that while this "trifecta" may have worked out great for him, it wasn't so great for me, Tony and his Egyptian girlriend, or our Republic

  • duster||

    I don't really get it when people say Hillary will be as bad as Bush. I'm sure she would if she could but she simply can't get away with the stuff the Bush administration has. She'll be playing defense the whole time, just like her husband did. She will also suck like her husband, too. But there's sucking and then there's totally over the top, batshit insane sucking. I've been seeing the latter for the last 7 years or so. The Repukelicans lead, the Democraps follow.

  • Episiarch||

    I think I know why Cesar likes the triumvirate idea. Right, Caesar?

  • ||

    I've heard a lot of absurd crap in my day, but the recent anti-Hillary smearing that claims she'll be a second W. is just headache-inducing. Hillary is doing what a Democrat must do to get elected: playing to the middle. Take any political science class on party politics and you will learn that, despite the evangelical anomaly in 2004, this is how presidents win, by getting enough of the middle. We blog gnats are irrelevant. How many of you will actually put down Halo long enough to go vote?

    This country is, I'm sad to say, replete with ignorant bloodlusting redneck cretins who don't have anything better to do than going to the polls and voting against modernity in whatever form it comes. Clinton knows she has to get a few of these people on her side to win. I wish Democrats on the blogosphere would be a little practical about things. Maybe someday in the future we'll get President Kucinich or whatever, but it's going to take the shoehorning in of a Hillary Clinton to get some policies going (I say let's start with education) to make that future realizable. At least that's what I hope.

  • ||

    Serious question here:

    Is there any reason a libertarian would prefer Hillary! over any Republican candidate (except Ron Paul)?

    The only differences I can see are areas where Hillary! is more statist and intrusive. Taxes, guns, and healthcare, to name three.

  • ||

    Cesar,

    The consular system had its problems, but our system is sufficiently different that it might work. Promote the VP to junior consul, elected independent of the senior consul and with an independent veto right. Then watch the fireworks begin! The junior-senior distinction would probably just be a formality, for the most part.

  • Mike||

    What will we do if its Hillary against Giuliani?

  • ||

    What will we do if its Hillary against Giuliani?

    Move?

  • ||

    RC Dean, regarding taxes I personally don't see tax deferments (borrowing) as being much better than tax hikes.

  • ||

    What will we do if its Hillary against Giuliani?

    Vote for whatever nut case the Libertarians nominate, of course.

  • ||

    About the comments on Rome:

    I kind of like the Roman idea of ten "Tribunes of the People", each of whom had the individual power of an absolute veto.

    If one of them pissed everybody off enough, he'd get pitched of the Tarpetian (sp?) Rock, which kept a limit on the whole thing. (Prior to the Ceasars, of course.)

  • LarryA||

    Uh, it's because she's a woman.

    Bull. Personally it's because she'll sign gun control, screw up the health care system, and get us into God knows how many more wars. She would be as bad as Ann Coulter, but would have the support of the donkeys instead of the elephants.

    This country is, I'm sad to say, replete with ignorant bloodlusting redneck cretins who don't have anything better to do than going to the polls and voting against modernity in whatever form it comes.

    Do you really consider the Greenpeace/PETA types "redneck?" Oh. You mean the right wing luddites.

    What will we do if its Hillary against Giuliani?

    Join Stubby's mother. I'll teach her how to shoot.

  • ||

    Partisans are about their side winning/being in power.

    And turning the tools of power against their enemies, and ramming whatever stupid statist-fad-of-the-moment they currently favor up the asses of the civilian population. And handing off the bill to some future taxpayer to be named later.

  • ||

    At lot more convention than wisdom, I'm afraid.

    On Hillary's partisanship: her "definitely would not vote for" numbers are lower than McCain's, Romney's, and Guiliani's. Not to mention, she has spent her political career deliberately courting the center and striving for unity, so the comparison to Bush, who after 9/11 adopted a policy of deliberate polarization, is misleading.

    On her electability: Clinton does considerably better than every other Democrat in head-to-head matchups against the likely Republican nominees.

    "Clinton...has made no promise to end it any time soon." Actually, she has. Yesterday, on another thread, I quoted the report from DailyKos in which she stated that she would end the war as soon as she came into office. I'll see if I can find the link.

    In fact, the L.A. Times reported last week that Clinton has refused to commit even to pulling U.S. troops from Iraq by 2013 No, they reported that she has refused to commit to pulling ALL US troops out of Iraq by 2013. She has also stated her opposition to permanent bases in Iraq. Whether you think ending Operation Iraqi Freedom, bringing home 95% of the troops from Iraq, and removing the rest from the security-patrol/civil war refereeing business is good enough, it most certainly represents a substantial difference from the policies advocated by every non-Ron Paul Republican, as well as George Bush.

    You're dead-on about Hillary's position on executive power. She is either the biggest advocate for it among the Democratic nominees, or is tied with Biden. Another bit of evidence you could have pointed to is her explaination of WHY she refuses to call her vote on the AUMF as mistake: "I've been on the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue, and I know how important it is for the President to have that authority," "that authority" being the authorization to take the country to war, or not, based on his own judgement.

  • Brian Sorgatz||

    Dan T.:
    Uh, it's because she's a woman.

    The political right, for all its faults, has so many prominent women in it that I find it hard to believe even you believe that, Dan.

    Let's ease up on the race and gender identity politics, OK?

  • Syloson of Samos||

    "Clinton...has made no promise to end it any time soon." Actually, she has. Yesterday, on another thread, I quoted the report from DailyKos in which she stated that she would end the war as soon as she came into office. I'll see if I can find the link.

    Why wasn't that a frontpage headline?

  • ||

    Here ya go:

    http://www.firedoglake.com/2007/10/15/breaking-news-hillary-pledges-to-end-war-immediately-upon-taking-office/

    Clinton's speech this week. Money quote:

    What I do know, is that I heard her say that she would end the Iraq war immediately upon taking office. Lots of heads snapped up when she said that (and there was plenty of applause, even a little whooping) and the very politically plugged in person sitting next to me remarked that the statement was "completely new". She went on to say that the troops had already done everything they had been asked to do: got rid of Saddam, created a situation where elections could take place, surged to create political stability so the elected Iraqi government could do some legislating and work out a political solution (which she said they have not done) and that it was unfair to ask our troops to stay in Iraq and "play referee to an Iraqi civil war." She said there is no military solution.

  • ||

    Syloson of Samsos,

    It probably wasn't a front page headline because "Democrat Proposes to End Iraq War" isn't front-page material.

    Now, to political geeks like you and I, the differences between a Ron Paul End The War, a Bill Richardson End The War, a Barack Obama End The War and a Hillary Clinton End the War are great, big issues that stand out in sharp relief - as the FDL blogger's head snapping up indicates - but to the mainstream media, she's already on the end-the-war side of the binary debate, and the nuances of her position aren't headline-worthy.

  • ||

    I heard her say that she would end the Iraq war immediately upon taking office.

    Assuming that's what she really said, lets be clear: she doesn't have the power to end the fighting in Iraq.

    If what her buddies on the left are saying is true, and the violence in Iraq is a civil war, then there's no reason to expect the civil war to end if we leave. All she can do is withdraw US troops immediately and leave our allies in Iraq to fight it out on their own.

  • ||

    All she can do is withdraw US troops immediately and leave our allies in Iraq to fight it out on their own.

    Uh, we don't HAVE any allies in Iraq. You haven't noticed?

  • Paul||

    Uh, it's because she's a woman.

    Who is?

  • ||

    Right, right, RC. I was just using some shorthand there.

    Whether there will be civil war in Iraq after we leave is, and always has been, out of our hands.

    Too bad we spent 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006 blowing up those terrific new allies of ours, so we could control Iraq's future. Remember when the Kerry pussy wanted to convene a meeting of Iraq's factions and neighbors - in 2004?!?

    Naw, we were gonna totally kick their ass instead. That was how we were going to win.

  • Paul||

    The Romans tried something not too far afield from that (multiple emperors) in the 4th Century, and all it led to was unending civil war.

    And this is a bad thing because?

  • ||

    We didn't leave in 2003 because widespread disorder might break out.

    We didn't leave in 2004 because an organized insurgency might develop.

    We didn't leave in 2005 because al Qaeda might team up with the Sunni insurgents, and take over parts of Iraq.

    We didn't leave in 2006 because a civil war might break out.

    In 2007, we can't leave because the client government we set up might fall.

    Well, now we have to do what we should have done years ago - walk out, put on a big diplomatic and concilliation push along with the turnover to local authorities, and salvage what can from the mess. Let's hope it's not too much less than we could have had in 2005.

  • Syloson of Samos||

  • ||

    Syloson,

    Did you, by any chance, read past the headline?

    "We don't know what we're going to inherit," she said on ABC News' "This Week with George Stephanopoulos." "None of us do. We don't know what's going to be done in the last 15 months of the Bush-Cheney administration."

    But Clinton reiterated her desire for an immediate troop withdrawal.

    "I hope it happens in the next 15 months -- but if it doesn't, it will happen immediately upon my becoming president," she said.

    She was making not promises about the next fifteen months - the rest of the Bush presidency. But if withdrawing troops doesn't happen in that time period, it will happen immediately upon her taking office.

  • ||

    Or so she says. FWIW.

  • ||

    Syloson,

    That reads more harshly than I intended.

    I was commenting on the headline abcnews put on the story.

  • ||

    Or so she says. FWIW.

    How long does it take to earn the rockers of a master sergeant? That question will tell you how long we'll be "training Iraqi troops."

    The question isn't about ending "the war", it's about ending the occupation. Just looking at that city-state we're building along the Tigris, my gut says we're staying...a long time.

  • ||

    Dedalus :

    Fuck you and the pretentious handle you posted in on.

    See? I'm a bloodlusting redneck cretin and I can read that there litratour too. Asshole.

  • ||

    We didn't leave in 2003 because widespread disorder might break out Bush didn't want that.

    We didn't leave in 2004 because an organized insurgency might develop Bush didn't want that.

    We didn't leave in 2005 because al Qaeda might team up with the Sunni insurgents, and take over parts of Iraq Bush didn't want that..

    We didn't leave in 2006 because a civil war might break out Bush didn't want that.

    In 2007, we can't didn't leave because the client government we set up might fall Bush didn't want that, and neither did enough members of the Democratic majority in Congress.


    In 2009, we won't leave because Hillary won't want that, and neither will the Democratic majority.

    In 2010, we won't leave ...


    See a pattern here, joe?

  • Gilbert Martin||

    There are no significant difference between Bush and Hillary?

    I think there are some pretty significant ones.

    The main one being taxes of course. She wants to raise them. She would never have proposed anything like the Bush tax cuts if she'd been president.

    She also wants to force everyone into a socialized medicine scheme. That's a major difference from Bush.

    She wants to "take" the oil company profits and "invest" them in alternative energy - another difference.

    Would Bush ever propose givng every kid $5 grand when they're born? I don't think so.

    There are plenty of difference between Hillary and Bush

  • ||

    The main one being taxes of course. She wants to raise them. She would never have proposed anything like the Bush tax cuts if she'd been president.

    Without spending cuts and a balanced budget, tax cuts aren't really tax cuts. They're tax deferments to a future generation.

    She also wants to force everyone into a socialized medicine scheme. That's a major difference from Bush.

    True.

    She wants to "take" the oil company profits and "invest" them in alternative energy - another difference.

    And Bush wants to give our money to oil companies in the form of corporate welfare. Not really a big difference. The only difference is who receives our money.

  • ||

    Yes, prolefeed, true to pattern, you reduce every political issue to the personalities involved.

  • http://||

  • ||

  • ||

  • ||

  • ||

  • ||

  • ||

  • ||

  • ||

  • ||

  • ||

    I've been thinking abotu this, and I don't think you can argue that Hillary Clinton's presidency would represent a continuation of Bush's policies, and be against the war.

    In 2001, our policy towards Iraq was fourfold: we stationed forces in the region to contain the military threat; we provided a security guarantee to the Kurds; we carried out sneaky counter-terror operations in lawless areas as necessary; and we pursued the rise of a pro-American, democratic politics there through non-military means.

    In 2003, we made what is universally acknowledged as a massive change in policy. We send hundreds of thousands of troops to defeat hostile military forces Iraq; we took over the country; we took on the role of providing security; and we set up a pro-American client government, which we used our military might to prop up. People like me, who were against the war, considered this change of policy to be a foolish, monstrous calamity. Considering the move from our previous policy to our current ont to be such a disaster is pretty much the definition of opposing the war.

    And now we see Hillary Clinton proposing to change our policy to one of ending our role as occupiers and security forces in Iraqi communities. Rather than continuing to fight against the hostile armed factions in Iraq, she proposes to work towards a political deal with them. She wants to reduce the role of our military in Iraq to that of containing the threats it now poses and conducing counter-terror operations. In other words, it represents something very close to a reversion to our pre-Operation Iraqi Freedom Iraq policy, though adapted to a different set of circumstances.

    I do not see how a person can claim to be agains the war - that is, to consider the President's decision to toss out our old Iraq policy and replace it with the Great NeoCon Crusade to have been a terrible, deplorable act - and then turn around and say that reverting back to, or at least towards, something like our previous policy amounts to a seamless continuation of George Bush's Iraq policy.

  • amy||

    OF coarse this article was first published on Foxnews.com, i mean how could there possibly be an intelligent woman running --- we'll discredit her in any way possible so the public isn't fooled into voting for such a flusy. fox, oh rubert, you sly little devil. nice try.

  • ||

    Joe - I think every political issue can be, and has been, reduced to the personalities involved since time immemorial.

    And Amy: however the Right has ever characterized, or mischaracterized, Hilary, I don't believe anyone has ever likened her to a floozie. You're right, though, of course - if something is published on Foxnews, then it's obviously untrue. How clever of you to realize Balko only writes what Murdoch tells him to. Right now their front page says wild fires are raging in California, but I think that's just what those bastards would want us to think.

  • ||

    If HRC is elected, then I predict the return of the militia movement. I welcome that for the entertainment value alone. Remember, just after Ruby Ridge and Waco and OKC? Those were "homegrown" terrorists, imagine what Hugo Chavez in a pantsuit can do with all of those Patriot Act powers when she gets to wield them on the militia.

    IMHO, as long as you don't get caught being "unamerican/unpatriotic/a wrong thinker/not willing to sacrifice/a racist/a homophobe/a child hater" you should be OK.

  • ||

    Mr. Balko has it exactly backwards. It is not Hillary's "conservatism" but rather the Bush crowd's statism buried beneath all sorts of patriotic and security slogans, that makes them birds of a feather. Who were the neo-cons who wrote the book, "The end of evil"? The war in Iraq has much in common with Mao's "Great Leap Forward". The idea was sheer folly for Mao, but at least he was trying it on his own country.

  • ||

    The Democratic Party is "prepared to nominate Hillary Clinton to carry the party into the 2008 elections" just like the Republican Party was prepared to nominate Harold Stassen fifty years ago.

    JR

  • ||

    "Hillary Clinton also starts any national election with negative approval ratings in the low-to-mid forties. That gives her very little margin for error in a general election campaign. Clinton, then, is probably the only serious candidate in the field right now who could give the Republicans another term in the White House. So why risk it?"

    A Zogby poll out this month with a 1% margin of error shows 50% ot likely voters aren't willing to vote for her under any circumstances.

  • ||

    She promotes science being shielded from the wacko religious nuts... that alone is going to get her a lot of votes from people like myself who normally wouldn't.

  • smoker with no kids||

    I tried to explain this "Hillary is Bush" thing to my wife. Try explaing this position to a Hillary supporter. I dare ya.

  • smoker with no kids||

    "A Zogby poll out this month with a 1% margin of error shows 50% ot likely voters aren't willing to vote for her under any circumstances"

    That number was 54% a few months ago, and higher before that. She is making progress.

  • ||

    If the election comes down to Hillary against some Republican other than Ron Paul, I'll be torn between the Libertarian Party and Hillary. We are on the verge of a depression, which will be exacerbated by a tax increase in 2011 (ironically, the year that baby boomers start turning 65; actually, the tax increase is the expiration of Bush's cuts) and the Fed doesn't appear likely to stop inflating (they've adopted Chicago Economics, which holds that the Fed should never shut down the presses, which if followed would eventually lead to runaway inflation and the total destruction of the currency, as Mises realized). Then, there are Hillary's wars that will help bankrupt our country.

    The key reasons why we need Hillary in power instead of Fred Thompson, John McCain, Rudy Giuliani, and Mitt Romney (if we're stuck choosing between any combination of those) is because Hillary is more economically ignorant (she thinks that tax increases cause economic growth because that happened during Bill Clinton's administration) and because the American people will know where to place the blame when the economy falls apart (if the Republicans are in power at the time, it'll be blamed on laissez-faire, just like with Hoover).

    Libertarians need to support Hillary against any of the Neo-Con Republicans. When Hillary destroys the country (and make no mistake, she will), the American people will turn to libertarians to fix the mess. However, Ron Paul is a superior option to Hillary, as he would be able to fix the mess in our country (if he's elected, Congress will have to do what he says because he'd have a mandate from the people unseen since the days of that fascist FDR).

  • ||

    I find it quite strange that they claim she has a 33% lead over Obama, but I have yet to meet one single person who said they will vote for her. All my friends are firmly on the Left and they don't like her. My father, a life-long Dem can't stand her. Who are all these people who love Hillary? They must all work for the defense contractors who are generously supporting her.

  • Kevin Carson||

    Balko fails to distinguish liberals from the genuine left. "The left" doesn't support Hillary. Liberals--at the managerialist heart of America's bipartisan establishment--do.

    When's the last time you've seen anything pro-Hillary at (say) Alternet? Even on what passes for the leftish wing of the Democratic blogosphere, Matt Yglesias and Ezra Klein, it's hard to find any enthusiastic support just to spite Rush Limbaugh. In fact, they've been quite vocal about her "Bush lite" voting record. About the most they can muster is a willingness to hold their nose and vote for her in preference for the Democratic nominee.

  • ||

    Summary: Clinton is like Bush with breasts.

  • ddezwaan||

    Bill Clinton is best friends with George Sr. George Jr. gave a glowing speech about Bill and Hillary Clinton at the grand opening of his Library. George W has joked if he should consider Bill Clinton his brother. George has had his people start briefing Hillary about issues of transition of their two administrations.

    People, the fix is in. Now I do believe that the Clintons and the Bushes are intelligent and powerful, and connected families, but they are not the driving force behind all of this. The driving force after either a Bush or a Clinton being in the White house for over a generation is the influence of powerful corporations and special interest groups. These are embedded deeper than any CNN journalist in Iraq and they are pulling out all the stops to make sure their unfettered suckling at the government tit remains in place come hell or high water. Niceties like the constitution or voter fraud be damned. No bid contracts, fake wars, Chinese most favored nation trading status, submission of the US government to UN rule...I can't see how this will end well. If you have any assets, friends I suggest you start moving them out of the country.

  • maybe||

    How many of you would consider moving out of country (and taking your assets with you) if things continue to get worse under a HRC administration?

    I'm genuinely curious.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    It's all a ruse on her part. She'll out-spend and out-socialistize even GeeDub. Remember how she slipped-of-the-tongued on Social Security recently?

    "Privatization is never the answer to anything."

    There's her domestic policy, in one neat sentence.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement